I fell in love with it immediately. I have continued to order it repeatedly at restaurants over the last 20 years. However, the one thing I don't love about it, is the fat grams and calories. So I have made my version, a bit healthier. I say only a bit, because I still use regular cheddar. I don't like the taste or texture of reduced fat or fat free cheese.
I have substituted the cream for skim milk, and the whole milk for chicken stock. Yes you heard me right, the original recipe called for both cream and whole milk. Honestly, once it is blended, it still has the velvety texture of a cream soup. This recipe is also a great cream of broccoli soup, just don't add the cheese.
Serve the soup with nice crusty bread and a salad for a great dinner. It's also a great soup to entertain with. If you want to make it vegetarian just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock :)
recipe (about 4 servings)
2 c. chicken stock
1 c. skim milk
2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
In a 3 quart stock pot, melt butter and cook onion until soft. Add the flour and a healthy pinch of salt, and a dash of pepper. Cook for about a minute.
Add chicken stock, milk, and broccoli.
Simmer on low for about 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Transfer to a blender, with the center of the lid removed (but cover the hole with a towel to avoid spatter), blend until desired consistency. I blended mine until completely smooth.
Return the soup to the pot and add cheese, stir until melted. The soup should be hot enough to melt the cheese, but if it is not turn the heat on low for a few minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
Like I said before, if you don't add the cheese, you have a great cream of broccoli soup. Also my soup is green, because I blended the "H-E- double hockey sticks" out of it. You can also blend on the stove top with an immersion blender.